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Rebels win their fourth straight

January 31, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

A week since his team last played a game, South Hagerstown boys basketball coach Kevin Naylor wasn't concerned about conditioning.

"I wasn't worried about that. We have too deep a bench," he said. "What I was worried about was keeping the focus and intensity that we had going."

While there were momentary lapses, South hit its stride at the right times to trip up Clear Spring 75-68 in MVAL interconference action Friday night -- the fourth consecutive win for the Rebels.

"With the team we have I don't think we'll ever completely blow anybody out," Naylor said. "We're so aggressive that at times we get a little lax. It's about getting them to understand that we need to focus and apply pressure in the appropriate manner."

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South turned the Blazers over 25 times but in doing so committed 31 fouls. Still, the risk seemed to be worth the reward as the Rebels forced 10 turnovers in the backcourt -- five underneath the basket -- leading to 17 Rebels points.

"We were making poor decisions 90 feet away from our own basket," said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. "It wasn't even as if they were trapping. They were physical and it forced us into mental mistakes. Twenty-five turnovers just doesn't cut it."

South (8-6) scored the first eight points of the game and kept Clear Spring (9-5) out of the basket until the 4:01 mark of the first quarter. But the Blazers regrouped, knotted the game two minutes later and took their first lead at 13-12 with 55 seconds left in the first quarter.

The lead changed hands eight more times before Cody Englehart's putback gave the Blazers a 29-27 lead with 1:07 left before halftime.

But the next lead change turned out to be the last as South parlayed it into a 16-0 run in over the next 2:27 spanning the second and third quarters. Clear Spring had six turnovers during that stretch.

"We did a good job of getting back in the game after a slow start but I guess the kids around Clear Spring think it's a 16-minute game, not 32 minutes," Shives said.

Part of the South run included five unanswered baskets to open the third quarter -- two each by Jason Chase and Antoine Malone and an easy steal and layin by Tyree Jones.

The South lead got as big as 14 points and as small as five in the second half. Yet each time Clear Spring strung together momentum it seemed to always result in another turnover.

Malone scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the second half, Jake Bucher scored 12, Chase had 11 and Jones added 10 for the Rebels, who had 10 players make the scorebook. Jones and Bucher each had six rebounds and Chase had four assists.

"We can't just jump out and think we can beat every team because if we do that we'll beat ourselves," Malone said. "Finally, we're letting go of our egos and we're working together as a team."

Cody Englehart led all scorers with 26 points to go with seven rebounds, while Jordan Lavender had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds for Clear Spring, which dropped its third straight game despite outscoring the Rebels 26-7 from the foul line.

South Hagerstown 75, Clear Spring 68
CLEAR SPRING (9-5)

Glazer 7, Lerch 5, Lavender 18, Crist 9, Englehart 26, Rowe 3. Totals 20 26-37 68.
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (8-6)
Baymon 1, Santell 8, Hoover 3, Stubbs 2, Malone 15, Provitt 9, Chase 11, Jones 10, Pierre 4, Bucher 12. Totals 32 7-19 75.
Clear Spring 16 13 18 21 -- 68
S. Hagerstown 18 15 21 21 --75

3-point goals -- Clear Spring 2 (Lerch, Lavender), South 4 (Hoover, Provitt 2, Chase). Fouled out -- Malone, Jones. JV -- South, 60-19 (CS: Mikey Sensenbaugh 6; SH: Sean Prather 10, Ahmad Fields 10).

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